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All Herbal Medicine �
Powerful Remedies Derived
From Plants

In Chinese medicine, illnesses are often treated with all herbal medicine, in another words, plant remedies.

With the growing body of research in pharmacological activity of plant constituents, one may think that all herbal medicine is similar to many prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications which are made from plant derivatives.

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Differences between Prescriptions Drugs and Herbal Medicine

There are many differences.

Firstly, the complexity of plant materials, that is the herbal formula, in all herbal medicine is far more balanced than Western medicine which is based on isolated active ingredients.


Secondly, the herbs are typically prescribed in combination by the Chinese doctor. The different components of the whole herbal formula, that is the herbal tea recipes, balance each other. The herbs undergo a mutual synergy, resulting in higher efficiency. They are safer and less likely to cause side-effects.

Thirdly, all herbal medicine aims at correcting internal imbalances rather than treating the symptoms alone. They are also designed to promote and speed up the self-healing process.


Note:
Herbal formula are not the prepacked soup mix that you can buy in Chinese grocery.


How to Take Herbs

There are three common ways of taking a herbal formula:


1. Decoction

The vast majority of Chinese formulae are still not available in either tablets or powder, which means they need to be decocted. In addition, herbal formulae that have been decocted are more easily absorbed by the body and take effect faster, which is beneficial when curing acute disorders.


Chinese Medicine Clay Pot

Chinese Medicine Clay Pot



For decoction of Chinese formulae




Decoction Pot

Decoction Pot




The steps in decocting a formula:

� Use a pot made of materials other than iron or bronze for decoction to avoid chemical changes.

� Soak the herbs in water for about 20 minutes in order to soften and moisturize the herbs.

� Preserve the water for soaking the herbs to be re-used for decoction. This will maintain and safeguard the herbs� potency.

� Keeping the pot covered (to retain the volatile constituents of some herbs) throughout the decoction process, bring the water to a boil then reduce to low heat.

� Allow the herbs to simmer for approximately one hour over low heat.

� Drink the essence while it is warm.



2. Powder

The herbs in formula are easier to transport, ingest and preserve when they are ground into powder.

The steps in taking a powdered formula are:

� Filter the powder to ensure that it is fine enough for consumption.

� Mix the powder thoroughly.

� Put the powder in a cup and pour boiling water into the cup. Stir and drink it warm.

� If the herbs' taste make it difficult to ingest, use empty capsules, available in health food stores, to contain the powdered mix.


3. Tablets and Capsules Chinese Medicine Capsules

Herbal powder is also available in tablet and capsules forms, produced by drug manufacturers who also provide the recommended dosage for each specific medicine.

Tablets and capsules have a two principal advantages:

� Ease of transport and ingestion while being slow in absorption.

� Effective for chronic and deficient diseases.






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